Digital SLR Cameras?

Hi fellow posters…

Yours truly is about to become a daddy for the first time shortly - which is no big deal, however it is all the excuse necessary to finally purchase a top flight digital SLR camera. :wink:

I’m really keen on any advice or words of wisdom my fellow photographers might have.

For what it’s worth, I have a nice collection of lenses and filters for my film based Olympus SLR and I was real keen on making further use of them if you know what I mean.

The model I’m looking at currently is a NIKON D100 but obviously I’m real interested in anything all of you might have to offer.

Feel free to get as technical as you’d like! I just love learning!

Thanks for reading… :slight_smile:

I’m going to subscribe to his thread, because I’ve never heard of such a thing.

The only viewfinders I’ve ever seen on digital cameras are either cheap ones that are a whole separate lens which don’t give you the cmera lens view, or small TV monitors that take the image off the sensors behind the lens.

The SLR image, IIRC, has a mirror in place that directs the lens image to the viewfinder rather than the film. When the shot is taken, the mirror is moved out of the path.

I don’t think you want this setup in a digital camera, because you can’t view the electronic image with it. Therefor you can’t electronically manipulate the image in advance to improve your picture quality.

I think you are really looking for a camera with a particular kind of lens mount.

But I am NOT an expert with photo stuff, and I could be wrong.

Go here

You will want one of these 6 or 11 megapixel beasts!

A co-worker has a Canan D30 digital SLR, and the quality of the pics it takes is amazing. He loves it and can’t find anything bad to say about it. The professional photographers at work have some 1D’s, and if there is a difference in the pic quality between the two, I sure can’t see it. He paid just under 3K for the D30. Amazing devices to be sure. That’s about the extent of my knowledge on the topic.

One of my best friends is a professional photographer and makes his living for the most part doing motocross photography, much of it for magazines.

He just went digital and bought the new high end Fuji camera. It was cheaper than the Canon. The camera does an amazing job. In its high res mode (about 12 Mp), it approaches medium format film in its ability to capture detail. Color and contrast are really excellent as well.

We sent some 10 shots to an 8x10 kodak dye sub printer… amazing.

You do realize Olympus lenses don’t work on the Nikon D100 (or any other digital SLR currently available)?

Another thing to note is that the sensor used on most digital SLR cameras are smaller than 35mm film. Typically the ratio is about 1.6, so a 24mm lens on a digital SLR will be equivalent to (i.e. will capture the same area as) 35mm lens with film. This is great if you like telephoto lenses. If you like wide-angle shots, you may have to buy additional ultra-wide angle lenses. There is one exception, the Contax N, which has a full-frame imaging sensor. Unfortunately it costs $7000.

Don’t forget to budget for the memory card. Those high-end cameras generate big files (around 3MB per shot at highest quality setting). The 1GB MicroDrive might be a good choice. It’s not a memory chip but a tiny hard drive. It consumes more power than memory, but it’s big and fast.

1 gig compact flash cards are now available and 2 gig units are just around the corner.

Hmm, I guess I was a bit out of date. MicroDrive is still more cost-effective though. A 1-GB MicroDrive currently sells for about $300, slightly less than a 512MB flash memory. Flash memory has lower power consumption and is probably more durable since there are no moving parts.

yojimboguy: Yep, digital SLRs, with a little preview screen on the back, just like lesser digicams. In fact, I have a Nikon D1 sitting on my kitchen table right now.

Having used both the D1 and the Canon D30/60 (the former for work as a newspaper photographer, the latter at school for the school newspaper), I prefer the Nikon because it seems a bit quicker to autofocus, and other minor little things like that

If only I could afford one for myself…

While the MicroDrives are slightly better cost/meg, they still have a nasty tendency to fail suddenly, and taking all the shots on the disk with them. They also use more power, reducing battery life.

I’m very interested in the Canon since I have a Canon Elan II and several lenses. Not yet, but someday soon I’ll move to the digital SLR. Right now I have an Olympus C-720 which does view through the lens, actually. The viewfinder is a small screen that shows the image through the lens.

Waiting till the price drops some more…

My understanding is that SLR standard was precisely that - a standard at both the film format level, and also at the lens interchangeability level too.

I was given to understanding that all SLR lenses were interchangeable - on both film chassis and digital chassis.

Is this not the case?

No, each camera manufacturer has its own lens mount. If you have an Olympus camera, you can only use an Olympus lens. Or an Olympus-compatible lens made by third-party companies (Sigma, Tokina, etc.).

Also, some companies have made changes to their lens mount over the years to add functionality. An autofocus camera needs a lens with a built-in motor or some sort of gear mechanism, and the lens mount for such a lens needs electrical contacts and/or a drive shaft connection. Same with aperture control. So the manual-focus Canon lens mount is completely different from the Canon EOS autofocus lens mount. Nikon has kept the same mount and added the extra features to it, but you still have limitations if you use an old lens on a new body. The Nikon D100 doesn’t even do auto-exposure when used with a manual-focus Nikon lens. (The D1x does.)

By the way, FUJI doesn’t have its own line of lenses, so their digital SLRs have Nikon lens mounts. I believe Kodak did/does the same. The Canon digital SLRs obviously use Canon EOS series lenses.